CD PROJEKT RED has started to show off more of Cyberpunk 2077 this year… and it’s left us wanting more. It has every chance of being the most ambitious RPG ever made.
Cyberpunk 2077 – Villains & Gangs update
Stanisław Święcicki – a veteran writer at CD Projekt RED with five years’ company experience under his belt – confirmed to Official PlayStation Magazine that the villains and setup for Cyberpunk 2077 won’t be cliched and unbelievable, that they won’t be ‘comic book-esque’ (via WCCFTech).
When asked about the size of the writing team and their approach to storytelling, Święcicki noted:
It’s around eight to ten people. Ten at the moment. So, it’s quite a team.
At the beginning it’s like all the team sort and on a higher level it’s decided what’s the direction. And then we come up with sort of a story outline so to speak – a very bird’s eye view of how the story progresses. Narrative is key at CD Projekt RED. I like to say narrative is key, rather than story is key. Because it all comes down to all the narrative teams really working closely.
Every department has a different focus: whether everything is logical, whether it works as levels, how good the cinematics and the mood of the scene is. Then it comes back to us and we organically change the scenes in that way, as the other teams suggest. We write the dialogue, it comes back to us again. So, it’s really a multilayered process.
We use the mythos as a strong road sign for us in terms of mood and atmosphere because we’re making a similar universe to what you`ve seen in 2020, but we are giving ourselves the creative freedom to do major tweaks to what the universe is, and what rules it has.
That’s sort of needed because Cyberpunk 2020, which I played as a role-playing game, was pen-and-paper right? So we’re making a very different game over here. But for us it’s really about the mood and what’s important about the world.
Cyberpunk 2077 – Overview
Publisher: CD PROJEKT RED
Developer: CD PROJEKT RED
Format: To be announced
Release date: To be announced
Cyberpunk 2077 – What is it?
Cyberpunk 2077 is the next RPG from acclaimed developer CD Projekt Red, which will take on a sci-fi setting (in contrast to the studio’s previous title, The Witcher 3, which was part of the fantasy genre).
The game will be set in Night City – a sprawling metropolis set in the future featuring characters of many nationalities, gender identities and classes.
The game will be playable in either a first-person or third-person perspective, potentially outlining a VR element will be included with the game, too.
One of the main features in the game will be non-player characters speaking other languages than the one players select at the start. If you don’t understand the characters, you will be able to buy translator chips to help you out.
More expensive chips will do better jobs at translating the NPCs speech for you – the more you spend on a chip, the more accurate your translations will be.
The game will also experiment with a feature called “Braindance”, a digital recording device streamed directly into the brain, which allows the player character to experience the emotions, brain processes and muscle movements of another person as though they were their own.
Unlike The Witcher 3 and CD Projekt Red’s previous work, Cyberpunk 2077 will include a multiplayer mode.
Cyberpunk 2077 – Release Date
After Cyberpunk 2077’s re-reveal at E3 2018 this year, many fans have been wondering when they’ll be able to get their own grubby mitts on the title.
Sadly, it seems like the release of the game may still be quite a way away yet.
CD Projekt RED president Adam Kiciński revealed to Polish website Bankier that the game was still in pre-alpha – despite how good the E3 build looked.
When asked if the game was at the alpha stage, Bankier noted:
“No, earlier. Therefore, we show the game behind closed doors – this is not the final quality yet.
“This is the most polished part of the game we have now, prepared in some sense to show it to people outside the company.”
Then, in an interview with YouTuber YongYea, Cyberpunk 2020 creator Mike Pondsmith noted “I’ve waited 30 years to get this, it was worth it. You guys can wait a few more years.”
Looks like we’ll be waiting to play it for a while yet, then.
Cyberpunk 2077 – Preview
“In 2077, society is vastly dependent on drones and robotics. From simple camera drones, able to both record and transmit live feed, to big clunky creatures, warehouse machinery and training bots, Cyberpunk 2077 revolves around machinery”.
CD Projekt RED shows us a hands-off demo of Cyberpunk 2077, playing as a female bounty hunter the dev has customised themselves. In the game, you can play as anyone you want – and will be known as ‘V’… a badass mercenary.
“It’s not unusual for people to see huge automated trash collectors or robots sweeping the streets. Either mass-produced by corporations or put together from stolen trashed pieces of tech, robotics serve a huge role in both economics sectors and are an everyday addition to the life of people in Night City.
“Most of the public transportation services are handled by automated vehicles, whether it’s trains, subways or buses. These vehicles are entities in their own right, able to communicate with each other to make adjustments and correct their behavior accordingly.”
The game is populated by a massive amount of humans and machines and everything in the middle. Night City – loyal to its description in source material pen-and-paper RPG Cyberpunk 202 – is a busy place, embarrassing anything you may have seen in the dev’s last title, The Witcher 3.
The city is abuzz with people, rich with detail: you can hear conversations happen as you pass by, see headlines printed on newspapers in the streets, observe the disenfranchised population talk amongst themselves as you head from quest to quest.
Our demo showed us go to get a new upgrade to our character – the installation of dermal grips allowing for better handling of weapons and a more detailed UI pop-up, and an upgrade to our retinas meaning we could see more about the world around us.
We were then tasked with working our way up through the criminal underworld by talking to a quest vendor that wanted us to retrieve an important asset from one of Cyberpunk 2077’s gangs… a group of punks on the fringes of society that experiment with upgrades in an effort to diminish their own humanity.
We’re told this encounter can go a variety of ways: we see it devolve into a gunfight after some well-scripted, tense dialogue that sees our character and her old-time friend negotiate with the crooks. You could choose to tell the truth about your intent, though, or go in guns-loud in the first place.
Either way, it’s an interesting setup, and if the entire game is set up similarly then we’re confident in saying it’ll be one of the deepest, most satisfying RPG experiences on the market.
To that end, you’ll need to keep various factions throughout the city happy if you want to progress in the game – depending on who you impress (or piss off…) different paths will open or close to you.
If you deceive the corporations, they’ll use their incredible tech and funding to come after you. If you aggro the gangs enough, you’ll find certain parts of the city deadly to you. The entire game is a balance of being the sort of bounty hunter you want to be… without making things too hard for yourself.
Our behind-closed-doors look at Cyberpunk 2077 showed us a truly adult game: one that’s not afraid to shy away from mature themes or adult values, one that embraces violence, nudity, the explicit and the uncouth in a way that you rarely see gaming do.
It’s not just done for shock value, either – the entire world of Cyberpunk 2077 promises to be a deep, well-realised neon dreamscape… one that allows you to engage in any fantasy you wish as long as you’re prepared to pay the consequences for your actions.
The game really can not come soon enough.
Cyberpunk 2077 – Story
A new update from CD Projekt RED developer Ryan Pergent has revealed some interesting information about Cyberpunk 2077’s story and narrative design.
Writing on his blog, the writer outlined a few of his experiences with the game and its story, revealing how the original pitch for the game caused a few issues with staff at the development studio during the early stages of its life.
Though Pergent doesn’t give specific examples, it seems Cyberpunk 2077’s narrative structure clashed with its game design to some degree, with narrative beats seemingly at odds with the aesthetic and open world of the title.
Ryan states on his blog:
“The team I inherit of contains almost all the positions you can find in the studio. Designers, 3D artists, Cinematic Animators, Gameplay Animators, Writers, and Coders. The job is thrilling. The most challenging part: the Writers hate the design. I obviously can’t talk about the specificities, as the game hasn’t come out yet, but Writers straight up hate it. The most striking example is a meeting where all the Leads and Directors, including Adam, are gathered.
“In here, the Lead writer openly expresses his issues with the concept, echoing the opinion of his team.
“I keep it straight and manage to defend the idea with the promise that I won’t disappoint them. And I don’t. I rewrite the design almost entirely and come up with a better version that satisfy everyone, including the Writers. Before that, I had nightmares involving them. For real.”
Pergent continues to clear up that it was only a small section of the game that was causing issues for the team, and that for the most part the studio got on fine with the overall setting and theme of the title.
Apparently, these issues have now been resolved. We look forward to hearing more about the game soon.
Cyberpunk 2077 – Gameplay
Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt RED had some interesting things to say about loot boxes in gaming during an interview with PC Gamer.
CD Projekt Red co-founder Marcin Iwiński stated that the studio’s aim with the game is similar to what they offered with The Witcher 3: “numerous hours of gameplay and a significant amount of content” and 50-60+ hours of the main story-line, with up to a couple of hundred hours of side activities”.
Iwiński continued to state that in terms of monetisation, the studio plans to act similarly to how it did with The Witcher 3, dropping paid-for content updates into the game, along with smaller, free DLC and updates.
This came from Iwiński’s support of the customer in the game’s industry, and his apparent distaste of predatory business practices with regards to loot boxes and microtransactions: “Gamers are striking back, and I really hope this will change our industry for the better.”
Cyberpunk 2077 – Complex Consequence System
Information about quest structure and story has surfaced in an interview Cyberpunk 2020 creator Mike Pondsmith carried out with the YouTube channel “LastKnownMeal.”
During the interview, Pondsmith reveals that Cyberpunk 2077 will have a choice and consequence system similar to that which is seen in the tabletop game.
We see some RPGs take on board a karma system when they talk about consequence, but Cyberpunk 2077’s plans to go for a more direct approach.
So if you shoot a character in a faction, the rest of the faction would be more keen to hunt you down for revenge, for example.
“Sometimes karma isn’t really meted out in a nice, neat ‘dark side, light side’ way. Sometimes it comes and bites you in the butt in ways you never expected. We were kidding the other day in the office about that moment when you’re driving on the freeway and somebody cuts you off, and you flip them off and then you go into the bank, and there’s the guy you flipped off behind the counter! This sort of stuff happens!”
It’s a promising-sounding system – and plays into the impressive, ambitious nature of the game we’ve seen so far.RELATED ARTICLES
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Cyberpunk 2077 – Real-World Commentary
We’ve recently seen quite a lot of chatter about politics in games and whether or not they really ‘belong’ in the wake of the popular game site The Escapist rebooting whilst ‘avoiding politics in games’.
CD Projekt RED has noted that its take on the issue is pretty much the opposite – that Cyberpunk 2077 will have something to say about politics and that it won’t shy away from the big issues.
“Cyberpunk 2077 is a game about people with power at the top and people at the bottom with none,” says CD Projekt Red quest designer Patrick Mills in an interview with Official Xbox Magazine (via PCGamer).
“That power can come from money, hierarchies, technology and violence.
“The original Cyberpunk 2020 setting, like the setting of The Witcher stories, was a complex critique of the author’s world, and we don’t shy away from that in our games. On the contrary, I think it’s one of the things that sets us apart […] Cyberpunk is an inherently political genre and it’s an inherently political franchise.”
Cyberpunk 2077 – A PS5 and Next-Gen Xbox Release?
Despite not actually having a lot of news to go on about Cyberpunk 2077 at this point, it looks like we could still be playing the sci-fi RPG in years to come.
CD Projekt Red’s Piotr Nielubowicz and Adam Kiciński recently spoke at the Pareto Securities Gaming Seminar 2018 event (you can read more about that below, too), and part of what they said may nod to the future of console gaming.
Part of the presentation the duo offered to explain the game to eager onlookers detailed something important: that it would be built on current and ‘next generation’ technology.
That means we could see a cross-generation release for the game, seeing an initial launch on PS4 and Xbox One, but then coming to whatever Microsoft and Sony do next, too.
The downside of this? It means we’re certainly not going to see the game launch soon – anything cross-gen tends to come towards the end of a game console’s life cycle… and the PS4 and Xbox One certainly have some life in them yet.
You can see the seminar this is mentioned in here.
Cyberpunk 2077 – Flying Cars not playable?
Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red has announced that the flying cars you may have seen in various trailers or leaked demo materials are just for show – they won’t be playable.
Speaking to Metro, Cyberpunk 2077 level designer Max Pears noted:
“You won’t be able to control flying cars, but they will be used for missions for crucial things”
That makes it sound like you’ll be taken to locations in them – maybe with cinematic cutscenes – but all the driving you’ll be doing will be down on the tarmac in tricked-out supercars… you know, the old-fashioned way.
CD PROJEKT RED
Cyberpunk 2077 – Close to the source material?
The original creator of the Cyberpunk pen and paper RPG, Mike Pondsmith, has weighed in on the game’s development to say that now is the right time for the world to see a game set in this universe.
In an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais, Pondsmith states that the whole Cyberpunk universe is built around how ordinary people use technology to fight against those in power, putting everyone on the same level.
Pondsmith says that CD Projekt Red has pretty much managed to make the world as he imagined it – something gaming companies didn’t have the technology to do when an interactive version of his game was originally proposed in the 80s.
It’s clear Pondsmith is excited about the video game version of Cyberpunk 2077 coming to life – something that couldn’t be said of the original creator of The Witcher series…
Cyberpunk 2077 – Pre-Development
It is estimated that development on Cyberpunk 2077 began in 2012. Since then, little has been revealed about the game aside from a single teaser trailer.
A funding application for the Polish government, granting CD Projekt Red US$7 million, noted that the release could potentially take place in 2019 and confirmed the employment of REDengine 4 – something we haven’t yet publically seen from the studio.
In 2017, CD Projekt Red announced that data had been stolen from the studio pertaining to early concepts and development plans for the title, and that the studio was being threatened with a ransom notice.
CD Projekt Red announced it would refuse to comply with the ransom, asking players to avoid any potentially leaked information.
CD Projekt Red will be working with Mike Pondsmith, who created the original tabletop game Cyberpunk 2020, to make sure the game is in line with the property.